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faid, “ that protection and allegiance were reciprocal, and that the ft. fusal of the first was a legal ground of justification for withholding the last.” They considered themselves to be thereby discharged from their allegiance, and that to declare themselves independent was no more, than to announce to the world the real political state in which Great Britain had placed them. This act proved that the Colonists might confitutionally declare themselves independent, but the hiring of foreign troops to make war upon them, demonstrated the necefity of their doing it immediately. They reasoned that if Great Britain called in the aid of strangers to crush them, they must seek fimilar relief for their own preservation. But they well knew this could not be expected: while they were in arms against their acknowledged. Sovereign. They had therefore only a choice of difficulties, and mut either seek foreign aid as independent states, or continue in the aukward and hazardous situation of subjects, carrying on war from their own resources, both against the King, and such mercenaries as he chose to employ for their fubjugation. Necessity, not choice, forced them on the decision, , Submission, without obtaining a redress of their grievances, was adyocated by none who possessed the public confidence. Some of the popular, leaders may have secretly wished for independence from the beginning of the controversy, but their number was small and their sentiments were not generally known. ✓ While the public mind was balancing on this eventful subject, feveral writers placed the advantages of independence in various points of vietos Among these Thomas Paine in a pamphlet, under the signature of Common Sense, held the moft diftinguished rank. The ftile, manner, and language of this persormance was calculated to interest the passions, and to rouse all the active powers of human nature. With a view of operating on the sentiments of a religious people, Scripture was prefied into his service, and the powers, and even the name of a king was rendered odious in the eyes of the numerous Colonists who had read and studied the history of the Jews, as recorded in the Old Testament. The folly of that people in revolting from a government, instituted by Heaven itself, and the oppressions to which they were subjected in con: fequence of their lufting after kings to rule over them, afforded an excellent handle for pre-pofseffing the Colonifts in favour of republican institutions, and prejudicing them against kingly government. Here. ditary succession was turned into ridicule. The absurdity of subjecting a great continent to a small island on the other side of the globe, was represented in fuch striking language, as to intereft the honour and pride of the Colonists in renouncing the government of Great Britaina
The necessity, the advantage, and pract cability of independence were forcibly demonstrated. Nothing could be better timed than this performance ; it was addressed to freemen, who had juft received convinc. ing proof, that Great Britain had thrown them out of her protection, had engaged foreign mercenaries to make war upon them, and seriously designed to compel their unconditional submission to her unlimited power, I found the Colonists most thoroughly alarmed for their liberties, and disposed to do and suffer any thing that promised their establishment. In union with the feelings and sentiments of the people, je produced furprising effects. Many thousands were convinced, and were led to approve and long for a separation from the Mother Country. Though that measure, a few months before, was not only foreign from their wishes, but the objeft of their abhorrence, the current suddenly became so strong in its favour, that it bore down all opposition. The multitude was hurried down the stream, but some worthy men could not casily reconcile them felves to the idea of an eternal separation from a country to which they had been long bound by the most endearing ties. They faw the sword drawn, but could not tell when it would be Theathed; they feared that the dispersed individuals of the several Colopies would not be brought to coalesce under an efficient government, and that after inuch anarchy, fome future Cæfar would grasp their liberties, and confirm himself on a throne of despotism. They doubted the perseverance of their countrymen in effecting their independence, and were also apprehenfive that in cafe of success, their future condition would be less happy than çheir paft. Some respectable individuals whose principles were pure, but whose fouls were not of that firm texture which revolutions require, shrunk back from the bold measures proposed by their more adventurous countrymen. To submit without an appeal to Heaven, though secretly wished for by some, was not the avowed sentiment of any; but to persevere in petitioning and resisting, was the system of some misguided honeft men. The favourers of this opinion were generally wanting in that decision which grasps at greac objects, and influenced by that timid policy which does its work by Balves. Most of them dreaded the power of Britain. A few, on the score of interest, or an expectancy of favours from royal governmente refused to concur with the general voice. Some of the natives of the Parent State, who having lately settled in the Colonies, had not yet exchanged European fos American ideas, together with a few others, confcientiously oppołed the measures of Congress : but the great bulk of the people, and especially of the spirited and independent part of the
community, community, came with farprising unanimity into the project of inde. pendence.
The Americans, thus exasperated to the utmost by the proceedings of parliament, now forinally renounced all connection with Britain, and declared themselves independent. This celebrated declaration was published on the 4th of July, 1776, and is as follows:
« When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to diffolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and cqual station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they fhould declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident ; That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain ynalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whea, ever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to inditute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more dis posed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same ohjeet, evinces a design to reduce them ander absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient fufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present king of Great-Britain is a history of repeated injuries and ufur. pations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tye ranny over these States. To prove this, let facis be submitted to a candid world.
“ He has refused his affent to laws the most wholesome and neceffary for the public good.
“ He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and presfing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his affent fhould be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
.“ He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legilature ; a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.
“ He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the fole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
“ He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
« He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the danger of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
“He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obftructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither; and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
“ He has obftructed the adminiftration of justice, by refusing his affent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
“ He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries,
“ He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harrafs our people and eat out their substance.
“ He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.
“ He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.
“ He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation :
“ For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us :
“ For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States :
“ For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world ; “ For imposing taxes on us without our consent : “ For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury: “ For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences : Vol. I.
* For " For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighbouring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies :
“ For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments :
For fufpending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
“ He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.
“ He has plundered our feas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
“ He is, at this time, transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
“ He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian favages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.
“ In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms : our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
“ Nor have we been wanting to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts made by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdi&tion over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and confanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our feparation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the